Distractions in the car cause problems


Caitlyn Kriner

Car go across the Epler and US 31 intersection on Thurday, Feb. 17 2016.

Caitlyn Kriner, Reporter

Sitting still and feeling her life flash before her eyes, there was nothing she could do but wait it out. Juniors Mildred Delgado and Dylan Wire, along with two others were making their way to One Acts when things took a left turn.

Driving is a privilege, becoming 15 and getting to open one’s mind up to the rules of the road is a huge responsibility says www.iii.org. In the year 2014, 1,678 teens or young adults from the ages 16 – 20 experienced fatal car crashes when driving on the highway. At such a young age, many students say that they are unsure of what to do when put into a situation so abrupt.

“When (the crash) happened, it felt like slow motion,” Delgado said. “I saw the car coming but I could not do anything about it, just sit still and accept it.”

While Delgado was sitting in the back seat, Wire was not paying close attention to oncoming traffic. Delgado then looked to her left and saw the car advancing towards them. In the moment Wire should have been more apprehensive and yielded to the oncoming traffic around them.  The people involved in the collision with Wire were distracted, though senior Emily Patterson, who was involved in a separate crash, was distracted in another way. The only distraction with Patterson was that she was only focused on her surroundings and not as much herself.

Following the accident, both parties knew only to pull over, but were unsure of the exact procedures. State Farm insurance agent, Jeff Kolp says the first thing you should always do is immediately check if everybody in your vehicle and the other vehicle have no injuries. Another important action to take when in a crash is to always trade information with the other driver. It is necessary to get the other driver’s insurance information in case of any unseen damages. If any damage is done it is advised and can definitely help to take pictures of the incident. Taking pictures of the crash gives proof to insurance companies of any noticeable damage done to the vehicle.

“When talking to your insurance agent, be transparent,” Kolp said. “All they want is the truth, they think you are hiding something if you aren’t as clear as possible.”

Though it is not promised everybody will be friendly in a collision, in cases like Patterson’s the accident was her doing, but the other driver was sincere towards her.

“I had hit this guy on his way to work, he was early and nothing happened to his car,” Patterson said. “He was very understanding. He said he has teenage girls himself.”

Teenagers and young adults have a reputation of bad habits while driving, especially when accompanied by friends. Car crashes or even the smallest collisions usually emerge from cell phone usage, distracted driving, speeding or any kind of reckless driving. Distracted driving in these students’ cases has been a key factor in these wrecks. Most people are understanding about the situation, but people do not always get that lucky. For teens, distracted driving is a common mistake that tends to make them lose conscience of the road, the people and their surroundings. Luckily the students in these crashes were not seriously injured or harmed, just minor injuries.

“I learned that seatbelts and airbags are important for so many reasons,” Delgado said. “If I didn’t have my seatbelt on the crash would have been a lot worse.”